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Pakenham Bridge

Five-Span Stone Bridge

Pakenham Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Ian Graham

Bridge Documented: October 5, 2017

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Kinburn Side Road (CR-20) Over Mississippi River
Pakenham (Mississippi Mills): Lanark County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Stone Segmental Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1901 By Builder/Contractor: O'Toole and Keating of Ottawa, Ontario
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
40.0 Feet (12.2 Meters)
Structure Length
268.0 Feet (81.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
5 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is an outstanding, long, and extremely rare example of a stone arch bridge in Canada. It is also a treasured local landmark.

This bridge underwent an extensive rehabilitation in 1984 which included removing the stones and reinforcing the arch with concrete as well as constructing wing walls for the structure. Each stone that was removed was documented and replaced in the exact location it was originally. The roadway was widened as part of this project, and the concrete structure added under the roadway is load bearing, but is not visible. This approach of concealing load-bearing structures in between the stone spandrels and under the roadway deck is an effective method to maintain load capacity on the bridge, reduce wear-and-tear to the stone, while not changing the appearance at all. The only visible change to the bridge is the wider roadway.

Interpretive signs near this bridge proclaim it to be one of a kind in North America, but no details on what aspect of the bridge is unique are provided. Other stone arch bridges survive in Canada and the United States, including multiple-span examples. In any case, the bridge is a highly significant heritage bridge in the context of Ontario and Canada as a whole too.


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